Dave Matthews Band are just a few short weeks away from embarking on their summer 2018 tour in anticipation of their upcoming album Come Tomorrow (out June 8). But, unlike years passed, things will be a little different this time around: the band is hitting the road without their beloved violinist and one of their founding members, Boyd Tinsley.
Tinsley announced back in February via Twitter that he would be taking a break from touring with DMB, telling his followers on Twitter that he is “somewhat worn out” and is planning on spending “more time with my family & bring more balance to my life.”
The news came as a shock to fans (the announcement was made just mere hours after tickets for the summer tour went on sale) and Tinsley’s bandmates have remained tightlipped about the situation.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for anyone who loves DMB, as Tinsley is an integral part of the band’s unique sound. Tinsley’s work on the violin (electric or otherwise) and mandolin elevates their studio albums and takes their songs to new places entirely during live shows.
While there’s no official word on how many of the tracks on Come Tomorrow will feature Tinsley, his impact on the band over the past 27 years is immeasurable. Here, in no particular order, are the 10 essential Boyd Tinsley DMB songs.
“Lie In Our Graves”
Ask any DaveHead which song they most want to hear live with Boyd, and nine times out of ten you’ll get “Lie In Our Graves” as the answer. Tinsley rocks it on the studio version of the track on Crash, but watching him absolutely go to town on this thing live is nothing short of magic.
So, what’s the other song that fans desperately want to experience live because of Tinsley? Well, that would be the summer show staple “Tripping Billies.” Come on, Tinsley’s so damn good here he gets his very own out a shout-out in the song: “Check him out: Boyd!”
The first 30 seconds alone of this track take you on an emotional journey, and that’s all thanks to the haunting and powerful work done here by Tinsley. He all but dominates throughout “The Stone,” including a stunning solo interlude (listen for it at the 5:24 mark) that’ll stop your heart every single time.
Like “The Stone,” Tinsley takes the reigns from the get-go and doesn’t let up. The violinist gets to go a lot of places in this sexy ditty, but it’s unmistakably his touch throughout.
Sure, drummer Carter Beauford starts things off with a bang (pun intended) but it’s Tinsley’s masterful turn at the violin that gets the masses dancing. Hell, his impact on this song is so iconic, The Office’s super fan Andy Bernard even paid tribute to it with some righteous air fiddling in an episode.
Never mind that he does a fine job with backup vocals here (like he often does in live shows), but you had better hold on to your butts when Dave & co. let Tinsley let loose and do his thing. His breakdowns on “Dancing Nancies” will blow the roof off the place every time, but it’s that heart-stopping solo outro that’ll give you goose bumps.
Yeah, Tinsley knows how to go absolutely nuts on a song, but sometimes it’s when he quietly weaves in and out of songs alongside his bandmates that he leaves the biggest mark.
Everyone in the band brings the heat on this song, but it’s Tinsley slow burn that helps really bring the gut punch of a message in the track to life.
The sweet sounds Tinsley creates here (a hopeful, lovely cry) make you want to seize the day as much as the lyrics in the song urge you to.
Tinsley may not to get to play around here as much as he gets to with other songs, but his accompaniment throughout makes the song come together perfectly. A prime example of just how effective and important his sound is to the band.